Page xi: “We are living through the most anti-immigran era in modern American history. Immigration of any kind, legal or illegal, is under unprecedented attack.” —> Yup. Fuck this.
Page 16: “I don’t think I would ever love Mama again in the childlike, carefree, innocent way I loved her while writing that letter. I don’t know where that young boy went.” —> Aww. :(
Page 22: “With the promise of U.S. citizenship and full veteran benefits, more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers fought under the American flag, playing a crucial role in achieving victory. Shortly after, the Rescission Act of 1946 retroactively took away these soldiers’ status as U.S. veterans.” —> Whoa, I don’t know anything about this. I’ve never heard of it before.
Page 28: “If America is a wobbly three-legged stool, with white Americans and black Americans each taking a leg, the third leg is divided between Latinos and Asians, whose histories of struggle and oppression are often maligned and neglected. I’m not sure which leg Native Americans would stand on. As for the Filipinos, we are stuck in the middle of one leg of that wobbly stool.” —> A little clunky, but I like the idea of this metaphor.
Page 43: “We had an arrangement. I needed a place to stay for a couple of weeks, and he needed a companion. Some people say that he took advantage of me. I would argue that I took advantage of him.” —> Oooph, this is bad.
Page 57: “I got into journalism because of a high school teacher.” —> Aww, me too.
Page 58: “Instantly, journalism became not just a passion but the driving force in my life. Everything, and everyone, took a backseat to my work.” —> Again, me too, for a little while there at least.
Page 70: There are typos on this page, the weird script problems with some of the letters. Did no one notice that while editing, or was it done accidentally in the printing process?
Page 89: “I’ll never forget the pride in Rich’s voice on the phone: ‘Jose, it’s the Washington Post. It’s All the President’s Men. This is amazing.’” —> Hahah yep.
Page 104: I can’t imagine the constant paranoia he felt in this situation, what all immigrants must feel like in these situations.
Page 112: Wow, fuckin’ Joe Arpaio, I totally forgot about him.
Page 131: “If Bill Baher doesn’t get it, we’re all in trouble.” —> Well, don’t use him as your litmus test here, Jose. That’s a low bar.
Page 132: I’m bored of this preachiness about immigration. I want to hear more about his personal story. I know it’s connected to the work he does and obviously his own experiences, but I want to know practically, personally, what he was doing during this time when he “came out” as undocumented. I didn’t read this book for a history lesson about immigration quotas.
Page 134: “If Trump could spark his political career by questioning the citizenship of a sitting American president, who happened to be the country’s first African American commander-in-chief, then of course he would question anyone’s citizenship.” —> Yup, I’ll agree with this.
Page 134: “While I was filming a documentary at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, a student at Crazy Horse School approached me. 'I know who you are,’ the sixteen-year-old said. 'You can’t talk about immigration and not talk about us.’ At Pine Ridge, 75 percent of children live below the poverty line. The dropout rate is over 70 percent. Unemployment is between 85 and 90 percent. I’m embarrassed to say that I’d never visited a reservation before; the despair and hopelessness was staggering to witness.” —> Hear hear, I’m glad that student said something to him. But one paragraph? And of this tone? That’s it? This doesn’t do it justice at all; bringing up Native Americans when you’re talking about immigration must be more nuanced than this.
Page 135: Yeah, these short anecdotes about the negative sides of immigration—Native Americans still being treated as second-class citizens, black people being sold as slaves to forcibly become citizens here, Puerto Ricans being denied aid despite being legal—these are all important, but if I was going to read an analysis on immigration, these would be the stories I would want, not what he’s saying. He needs to go into more detail on these.
Page 141: “The unprecedented movement of people—what some call a 'global migration crisis'—is, in reality, a natural progression of history.” —> Yes, and that’s why it means nothing. History dictates where we move and why. That, and evolution. Either way, it’s not a big deal. This immigration trend now is a mere blip on the radar of human migration over our entire existence.
Page 149: “'I should have called ICE,’ Tucker Carlson told me seconds before his show went live on Fox News. It was May 2017. I don’t know how serious he was about calling ICE, but the fact that he would even consider such a stunt reminded me how hard it is for some Americans to regard undocumented people three-dimensionally. Tucker was fiddling with his tie as I sat across from him in his studio in Washington, D.C. Underneath all that bravado is a fidgety guy. He added: 'That would have been good TV.’ That’s what I was there for: 'good TV.’” —> Yeah, this is fucked up. But it’s a Republican on Fox News, so I’m not at all surprised.
Page 152: “I tried hard not raise an eyebrow, not to seem visibly angry or upset.” —> This is the struggle for people of color, especially immigrants. Any show of any emotions is a weakness.
Page 171: “I didn’t know that the typical white American lives in a town that is more than three-quarters white. I also didn’t realize that the average white person’s group of friends is more than 90 percent white. Which means that many white people’s interactions with people of color and immigrants are limited to what they consume in media: the news that inform their worldview, the TV shows and movies that comprise their system of reality.” —> Yup. Which is why that representation is so important. For people of color to see themselves, yes, but also for white people to see and normalize different people as well.
Page 205: “How the largest groups of people who migrate to the U.S.A.—voluntarily, forcibly, unknowingly, like them—do so because of what the U.S. government has done to their countries.” —> Ding ding ding.
Page 211: “Locking up people for the 'crime’ of improper migration is overcrowding federal prisons, worsening our mass incarceration problem.” —> We’re number one, we’re number one. :/
Page 216: This sounds like real naivete on everyone’s part, having Jose go down to a border town. It sounds like they all knew the risks but were willfully ignorant to them anyway in favor of gawking and becoming the story. This is stupid and rude.
Page 217: “My stomach dropped. It was an accident. I didn’t know I was going to be cornered there.” —> Yeah, I call bullshit. You knew. You had to have some inkling of the dangers of going to a place like this.
Page 221: “It occurred to me that I’d been in an intimate, long-term relationship all along. I was in a toxic, abusive, codependent relationship with America, and there was no getting out.” —> He should have used this analogy from the beginning. That would have been way better.
Page 223: “He was of Mexican descent, like all the other agents in the station.” —> Do you mean Latino? Because how could you know this unless they all personally told you their ancestry? This is lumping in Hispanic countries just like immigration policy does. Not a good look here, dude.